9/13/2013 7:21 P.M. ET
Morales' ambitions grow as he reaches milestone
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Kendrys Morales kept the baseball from the 100th home run of his Major League career in the Mariners' 6-1 loss to the Astros on Wednesday, but the veteran designated hitter hopes there are many more milestones still ahead.
"It's just a number," Morales said Friday through interpreter Jaime Navarro, the Mariners' bullpen coach. "I just have to keep playing and go for 200 and 300 and keep going."
Morales has plenty of motivation to do that, having left Cuba early in his baseball career and then worked his way up through the Angels' system before shattering his ankle while jumping into a home-plate celebration in 2010.
That injury, coming after a breakout 34-home run season in 2009, cost him a year and a half of games just as he was hitting his prime. He returned to bat .273 with 22 homers and 73 RBIs last year for the Angels and is hitting .280 with 21 home runs and 76 RBIs for Seattle with two weeks remaining.
"It inspired me to play hard and do my best and keep playing the same way after so many obstacles in my life, with the ankle and everything else," Morales said.
Morales has been one of the Mariners' positives this season, providing a steady bat in the middle of a young lineup after being acquired in a trade for Jason Vargas over the offseason.
"From the beginning, I've felt comfortable," he said. "It was a good opportunity coming to Seattle and as soon as I got here, I knew they'd give me that chance. I just keep playing hard, just doing my thing. I feel comfortable and like what they're doing here. I'm just going to keep doing whatever it takes to help this ballclub."
As for looking ahead? Morales will be a free agent following the season and the Mariners have made some initial inquiries, but he'll wait to see how things play out.
"I have had good numbers from the beginning this year and I just want to keep doing what I've been doing," he said. "After the season, I'll think about what comes next. But for now, I'm just working to finish strong and do the things I need to do."
Felix throws from flat ground, to throw bullpen Monday
ST. LOUIS -- Felix Hernandez threw a flat-ground session in the outfield at Busch Stadium without problems before Friday's series opener with the Cardinals and the Mariners will now have him throw a bullpen session Monday in Detroit as he works his way back from a minor oblique muscle strain in his left side.
Hernandez threw under the watchful eye of pitching coach Carl Willis as manager Eric Wedge was conducting his pregame media session with reporters.
"Once I talk to Carl and see how it looked today, then we'll go from there," Wedge said. "If it went well, then we'll get him [throwing] off the mound and go from there. But let's see today goes first."
Once reports were positive, the Mariners said Hernandez could start Wednesday in Detroit if all goes well now in Monday's bullpen workout.
Hernandez hasn't pitched since Sept. 2 in Kansas City, when he felt some tightness in his lower back in the seventh inning of a 3-1 loss to the Royals.
He initially was scheduled to start again on Sunday, then had that delayed until Wednesday before his start was canceled completely after continuing to feel some stiffness in his side during a light throwing session.
The Mariners only have 15 games remaining after Friday's series opener against the Cardinals and have been clear that they wouldn't push Hernandez's return unless he's completely healthy.
The 27-year-old has thrown 194 1/3 innings to date, going 12-9 with a 3.01 ERA in 29 starts with 41 walks and 200 strikeouts. He's pitched 200-plus innings each of the last five years and this is the fifth straight season he's notched at least 200 strikeouts.
Going into Friday's games, Hernandez was still tied for fourth in the American League in strikeouts and tied for sixth in innings pitched.
Seager starts at third for 100th straight game
ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Seager has quietly turned into Mr. Reliable for the Mariners as the young third baseman was in the starting lineup for the 100th consecutive game when he was penciled in for Friday's series opener against the Cardinals.
Seager's 100 consecutive starts is a franchise record for third basemen, breaking the previous record of 86 set by Adrian Beltre over the 2005-06 seasons.
His streak is currently the fifth longest in Major League Baseball among third basemen over the past five seasons, and is the second-longest active streak behind the 197 of Baltimore's Manny Machado.
"He has a great routine, really takes good care of himself. Those are the biggest things," manager Eric Wedge said. "And he's obviously been a very consistent contributor for us. He wants to play every day, which deserves respect in and of itself. But the reason he can play every day is because of how he goes about his business and the consistency of his play.
"You've got to have that. When you get to the point where you're playing for something this time of year and you're in the race, you've got to have guys you can pencil in every day. He's proven to be one of those guys."
Seager has played the most games of any Mariner this season, sitting out just twice so far (April 9 against the Astros and May 22 vs. the Angels).
Prices remain same for 2014 season tickets
ST. LOUIS -- The Mariners' 2014 season tickets renewal process began this week, and the club notified ticket holders Friday that prices will remain the same as this year for a full-season plan.
Because the Mariners use variable pricing for individual games based on the opponents, partial season ticket plans -- such as weekend, business, half-season and 16-game plans -- could be a slight increase or decrease based on the particular games contained within the package.
Full season ticket holders receive as much as 33 percent off the cost of single-game tickets, while partial season plans are up to 20 percent off single-game prices.
Information about season tickets is available on Mariners.com or by calling 206-346-4001.
• The Mariners were 10-24 in games on Friday the 13th in franchise history heading into Friday's series opener with the Cardinals.